Wente Vineyards and Food Network
Join Forces to Change the World of Everyday Wines
What happens when the oldest family-owned winery in America teams up with the number-one name in food? The latest star is born into the competitive world of wine, and her name is entwine.
Created and meticulously blended by a dream team consisting of fifth generation Wente winemaker Karl Wente, Rob Bleifer, Executive Chef, Food Network Kitchens, and Chef Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer at Food Network, entwine’s recently-introduced wine portfolio consists of a chardonnay, pinot grigio, merlot and cabernet sauvignon – all from Wente’s lush California vineyards in the beautiful Livermore Valley. This portfolio has been fashioned with a specific objective in mind: to handcraft wines that will enhance everyday experiences, while at the same time educating and empowering people to confidently enjoy wine just as much as food, and without intimidation.
An exceptional opportunity presented itself to the Food Network as viewers had shown an intense desire to learn more about wine from their most trusted source, the network itself. Luckily for us, network execs were listening. Their clear goal was to integrate food and wine knowledge in a way that is approachable and accessible to the everyday person. This everyday person could be the home cook or restaurant chef. And with their $12 retail price tag, entwine wines are sure to gain a great deal of notice. A unique feature of each bottle is the back label explaining a bit about the wine’s own distinctive flavors, and then going so far as to suggest possible appetizers and entrees it will pair well with. This helpful information certainly takes much of the guesswork out of things, especially for the novice entertainer who may be eager to have friends over for drinks and a nibble, but is nervous about what to serve.
I had the immense pleasure in January of meeting with Amy Hoopes, Wente’s CMO and Executive VP Global Sales, at the Food Network’s New York City headquarters located in the oh-so-hip Chelsea Market, originally home to the circa 1890’s National Biscuit Company. The Chelsea Market Concourse also houses a dazzling array of food and beverage venues on the ground floor, resulting in a spectacular sensory overload that a foodie such as me cannot resist. Upon entering, I truly wished I hadn’t just eaten lunch–oh, the damage I could’ve done at The Lobster Place or Morimoto! But back to the meeting with Amy and the task at hand: our purpose was to discuss and analyze the recent collaboration between Wente and Food Network, which was a brilliant stroke of genius, no doubt placing Wente in an enviable sweet spot for our industry.
Along with Amy, my husband Don and I were given a brief tour of the Food Network’s offices and studios by the delightful Lia Buffa, VP of New Business, followed by a wine tasting, with each wine thoughtfully served with the perfect side to marry the flavors. The 2009 pinot grigio was light and sublime with the crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The 2009 chardonnay was spot-on buttery with the crunchy saltiness of kettle chips. The 2009 merlot was fantastically smooth with sliced salami, and the cheeky 2010 cabernet sauvignon with cheese straws was most excellent!
The Food Network chose Wente Vineyards not only because they make great wine, but also because they are a family-owned business and share the same values. What’s more, they understood and appreciated what the Food Network heard from their viewers and wanted to join forces to craft a line of wines that would match viewers’ expectations. Wente Vineyards has a serious bond with food in its own right, which is readily apparent by its on-site vegetable garden, gourmet restaurant, and that it proudly maintains a holistic, sustainable approach in all aspects of its business.
Since entwine has been introduced to the off-premise and on-premise markets, it has garnered impressive sales numbers thus far. The union and success of two of America’s foremost pioneers of the food and wine worlds has created quite a buzz in the hospitality beverage industry and much excitement for eager consumers as well.
Wente Family Vineyards also recently received the grand honor of being named 2011 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Winners were announced in December and honored at a private ceremony held at the New York Public Library on January 30, 2012.
For up to date information, contact Amy Hoopes: firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out the website: entwine-wines.com